Harold Eugene "Hal" Roach, Sr. (January 14, 1892 – November 2, 1992) was an American film and television producer, director, and actor from the 1910s to the 1990s, best known today for producing the Laurel and Hardy and Our Gang (later known as The Little Rascals) film comedy series.
Hal Roach was born in Elmira, New York, the grandson of Irish immigrants. A presentation by the great American humorist Mark Twain impressed Roach as a young grade school student.
After an adventurous youth that took him to Alaska, Hal Roach arrived in Hollywood, California in 1912 and began working as an extra in silent films. Upon coming into an inheritance, he began producing short comedies in 1915 with his friend Harold Lloyd, who portrayed a character known as Lonesome Luke.
In September 1916, Roach married actress Marguerite Nichols. They had two children, Hal Jr. (June 15, 1918 – March 29, 1972) and Margaret M. Roach (March 15, 1921 – November 22, 1964). After 26 years of marriage, Marguerite died in 1940...
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